Pottsgrove Names New Administrators, Support Staff
Pottsgrove Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty (at top) as he commented during Tuesday’s school board meeting
LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – Two new Pottsgrove School District administrators, a third who is returning to the district, and the newest member of the administrative support staff all were welcomed Tuesday (Aug. 9, 2022) night by the district Board of School Directors during its regular meeting.
Introduced by district Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty were Director of Pupil Services Dr. Ann Marie Lucas, Director of Technology Jeffrey Buettler, Pottsgrove Middle School Assistant Principal Steven Palladino, and Communications Specialist Danielle Sabulsky. Brief biographies of all four, based on content supplied by the district, appear below.
Buettler, Palladino, and Sabulsky were confirmed unanimously by directors, and congratulated by board Treasurer Patti Grimm for their selection. Also unanimously approved was Melody Dunn, who has been announced by the district as its choice for Lower Pottsgrove Elementary School assistant principal. Her effective starting date has yet to be determined, the board agenda noted.
Lucas was unanimously approved earlier, during the board’s May 24 meeting.
Additionally the board, generally without public comment, approved 17 district employee appointments, 34 supplemental appointments, five retirements, 10 resignations, three leaves of absence, three changes of assignment, two additional assignments, and granting of tenure for 15 employees. The personnel actions ranged across the district’s administrative, professional, support staff groups.
Grimm abstained from voting on supplemental appointments because her husband was among those named.
Dr. Ann Marie Lucas
Lucas, the district’s director of pupil services, has an 11-year professional history as a special education supervisor and director in kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12) districts. She joins Pottsgrove from the North Penn School District, where she has worked as an administrator since 2018. Lucas earlier worked at Perkiomen Valley for six years, and at Owen J. Roberts for four years.
Her duties have included providing professional development to staff, participating in dispute resolution; special education planning and compliance monitoring, and state audits; and evaluating and monitoring special education staff members for effective instructional practices. From 2006 to 2012, Lucas also served as a district elementary individualized education program facilitator and special education teacher.
She earned a master’s degree in special education, and a bachelors of science degree in elementary education, both from West Chester University. She also holds a supervisor of special education certificate from Penn State. More recently, Lucas earned her doctorate in educational leadership at Delaware Valley University. She has served as the mental health committee chair at North Penn, and participated in school-wide positive behavior supports leadership at district and county levels.
Lucas succeeds former director Kathryn Pacitto, whose resignation was effective June 17. Lucas will earn a starting salary of $145,000.
Buettler, the district’s director of technology, has spent a total of 16 years of his career working in educational technology for schools in Berks and Chester counties. For the past year he has served as the director of technology for the Gov. Mifflin School District, where he helped evolve its mission for technology as a teaching and learning tool.
Before Gov. Mifflin, Buettler worked at the Twin Valley School District for six years, then earlier in the Downingtown Area district, and at Owen J. Roberts for eight years. He also served for two years as adjunct professor at Wilkes University for its school business leadership and educational technology graduate program. Buettler earlier worked as a senior analyst for NCO Group Inc.
Buettler earned a master’s degree in information systems at the Philadelphia campus of the University of Phoenix, and a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Marywood University. He is a co-founder of the Eastern PA Information Technology Data Management group, formed to support data managers with state reporting. He holds several different data management-related certifications.
He succeeds Dr. David Ramage, whose retirement from the district became effective June 20. Buettler will earn a starting salary of $123,000.
Palladino is returning to Pottsgrove as middle school assistant principal, after having spent the last seven months serving as 7th- and 8th-grade assistant principal at Pottstown Middle School. His responsibilities at Pottstown included maintaining student discipline for grades 7 and 8, providing teacher observations and evaluations, and serving as a district representative in special education meetings.
He has more than 15 years of education experience, much of it accumulated earlier at Pottsgrove Middle School as a science teacher, coach, department chair, and committee member.
Palladino, a Pottsgrove graduate, has a master’s degree in education from Gratz College, and a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from West Chester University. He holds both a middle level mathematics certification and middle level science certification, and a K-12 principal certification from Point Park University.
He succeeds Kevin Kirby, whose resignation was effective June 30. Palladino will earn a starting salary of $96,000.
Sabulsky arrives at Pottsgrove to a new position created May 10 with board approval. The job, according to board agenda information, incorporates a portion of responsibilities previously covered by another administrative position.
She last served as digital content and marketing specialist for the Schuylkill Valley School District. Her task there was to showcase positive academic, extracurricular, and athletic accomplishments of its students and staff. She maintained the district’s online presence – in social media accounts and on its website – by documenting and sharing classroom activities and school events. She also was responsible for content appearing in the district’s quarterly newsletters and annual reports.
Additionally, Sabulsky created and hosted a district podcast, for which she interviewed students about their experiences and accomplishments. The podcast and the district’s Facebook page both earned 2021 awards from the Pennsylvania School Public Relations Association, as part of its “Excellence in Education” communications contest.
Sabulsky earlier worked at the QVC television network for two years in live broadcasting, as a control room equipment operator. Her broadcast interests developed in part during time at Temple University, where she worked as a volunteer on Temple TV productions. Sabulsky earned a bachelor of arts degree in media studies and production from Temple in 2018.
In district communication duties, she succeeds former Director of Community Relations and Co-Curricular Programs Gary DeRenzo, who retired this year. Sabulsky will earn a starting salary of $66,000.
Individuals’ photos provided by the Pottsgrove School District
Board meeting photo from a PCTV Network screenshot by The Post